MMA Knockout of the Day: Heath Herring and the New Year's Eve Kiss of Death

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In about three seconds there was a kiss, a punch and a knockout before the fight even started.

Sounds like an odd way to start a fight right?

At K-1 Premium Dynamite!! in 2005, Heath Herring (25-11-0 at the time) and Yoshihiro Nakao (4-0-0 with 1 NC at the time) came to the center of the ring and well, it got really interesting from there.

They walked up, looked at each other square in the eyes and Nakao, um, kissed Herring. On the lips. In front of a packed house (53,025 people filled the Osaka Dome, the most of any K-1 Dynamite event there).

That is probably one of the weirdest things to happen in a mixed martial arts event ever.

After the kiss Herring responded with a solid right hook that took out Nakao. Now is it just me or if that fight would have actually happened does anyone else believe that Herring would have knocked out Nakao? I mean Nakao went down pretty easily.

To make things even better, after the knockout (something the video doesn't show) Nakao's cornermen rushed over to defend their fighter and actually tried to attack Herring. Then, Herring's cornermen jumped in to defend their fighter.

This benches-clearing-esque brawl reminds me of the Strikeforce: Nashville brawl with Jason "Mayhem" Miller.

Herring originally received a disqualification for this, but afterwards they declared both fighters committed fouls before the fight (Nakao's kiss and of course Herring's punch were fouls) and the fighters both earned a no contest.

Honestly I don't know who won more in this fight. Nakao, Herring or the 50,000-plus fans in attendance who got to see this awesome fight break down in front of their eyes.

All in all this was a pretty great knockout.

Since this knockout Herring has joined the UFC and hasn't fought since 2008 due to injuries. He is 3-3 since this video.

Nakao on the other hand is 5-3 (Only one of which was a TKO because of a knee injury) and has most recently fought for the World Victory Road promotion.

The "New Year's Eve Kiss" will forever go down in MMA history not only as a great knockout, but one of the funniest things to happen in the ring.

Herring had the best quote after the "kiss of death."

“I don’t get into stare downs, obviously he does, whatever,” Herring told MMAWeekly’s Ryan Bennett in an interview that night.

"The Kiss of Death" is definitely a priceless knockout for the ages. 

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